Standing tall and proud at 4,395 feet, the lure of Mount Mansfield's summit is like that of a magnet. If you visit once, odds are you'll keep coming back.
"We've had up to 2,000 people on a busy day," Kim Rosenbaum said.
The Mount Mansfield Auto Toll Road is the easiest way to reach the summit. The long, gravel path winds and weaves its way to the top. And there are actually more than 12 different hiking trails to Mansfield's long, rocky ridge.
People visit for different reasons. For some it's a spiritual journey.
"It's got some kind of spirit... we believe that," Leslie Bamford said.
Leslie and Bob Bamford got married here.
"We didn't actually have the priest come up, but we exchanged vows," Bob said.
"Then two weeks later had the proper wedding back home, so our first wedding was on Mount Mansfield," Leslie added.
For others, it's the fulfillment of a lifetime quest. Long Trail hikers pass through on their journey from Canada to Massachusetts. Others are on a mission to hit the high points of all 50 states. And there are the visitors you just don't expect.
"Someone brought up an ironing board one time and there's a calendar called extreme ironing and this was one of the places he ironed a shirt while he was on a summit," Kim Rosenbaum said.
Rosenbaum has more or less lived here. She's a summit caretaker with the Green Mountain Club and spent two summers on the summit, talking to visitors and protecting the more than two dozen endangered species that grow in this arctic-like environment.
"This is what we're trying to keep up here and before the caretakers were here, a lot of this was gone. It was just exposed rock," she said.
The weather here is extreme. Wind gusts and wind chills can be hard to bear. But that's just all a part of the Mansfield experience.
It's a mountain with unique charm and a true Vermont gem.
Vermont at its finest and a special place that keeps visitors coming back for more.
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